Havering’s personal debt crisis revealed by national survey’s shocking results

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 October 2017

(Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

(Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A new study has revealed Havering’s personal debt crisis, with arrears across the borough more than 13 times the national average .

The Personal Debt Index, which is compiled after more than 60,000 people in debt are surveyed across the UK, found that in the third quarter of 2017 the average unsecured debt of individuals in RM postcodes had a quarter-on-quarter increase of 23.2pc.

The national average is just 1.67pc.

According to the survey, the average personal debt of Havering residents in the red is a staggering £16,224.

Those statistics – which only take into account debt not protected by a guarantor or asset; including bank loans, credit cards and payday loans – represent one of the worst regional swings in the past three months in the entire country.

Lesley Crisp, who has worked at Havering Citizens Advice Bureau for more than 20 years, told the Recorder she has seen an increase in the borough’s debt issues in recent years. She said: “Debt has always been a problem for people in Havering, but what is worrying now is that it’s become a much bigger problem for a wider range of people.

“One of the biggest issues in our area is privately rented housing. Not everyone can afford a big deposit for a house, so people are forced to rent, and it’s so expensive.”

Finance experts also blamed the rise in credit card and payday loan companies for the shocking figures.

“In such an unpredictable economic climate, it’s troubling to see that so many people are continuing to struggle with their personal finances,” said Pearse Flynn, executive chairman of Creditfix, the UK’s largest personal insolvency practice.

“People are having to borrow more, often just to make ends meet. The ease, availability and widespread access to credit from banks and credit card companies is only facilitating this cycle.

“With so many people relying on debt, we could be headed for troubling times if the UK economy struggles and lending is reeled in.”

Anyone struggling with debt can contact Havering Citizens Advice Bureau on 01708 763531. Drop-in sessions run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Rats swarming in and out of bin bags, roaming confidently across front gardens and gnawing their way through fences – that is what residents of one Rainham street have found themselves up against.


Fans can relive the unique musical talents of George Michael in a special tribute performance.

Havering’s councillors look set to brand Sadiq Khan’s increased housing targets for the borough “unacceptable, unachieveable and unsustainable” at a meeting later this month.


Medical failings stretching back more than two decades cost the NHS trust running Queen’s Hospital millions of pounds a year.


An outspoken teenager from Romford is looking for two young people from the borough with mental health issues to take part in some mentoring sessions.

Yesterday, 17:00

A small Romford charity is celebrating their 20th anniversary with a special ball.

Yesterday, 16:30

Rail staff have shown their support for Havering Samaritans’ bid to turn “Blue Monday” into “Brew Monday”, by encouraging people to get together for a cup of tea and a chat.

Yesterday, 15:00

Havering Council cabinet members are set to discuss a proposed £30million grant from the GLA to pay for more affordable housing in the borough over the next three years.


Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now